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Castle – Recap & Review – Cops & Robbers

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Cops & Robbers

Original Air Date: Oct 31, 2011

Divina F – TwoCents Reviewer

While I love the general premise of this show, I can definitely appreciate anything that breaks the hackneyed routine. Using a bank heist to cover up a murder was brilliant, although I did catch on pretty early that something was amiss.

In the background we got treated to the always dependable – though growing trite – Castle/Beckett tease and a major development in Alexis’s love life.

In a recent interview, Stana Katic has wistfully hoped for a filer episode in which there is no murder and the team at the precinct is mostly bored. While would get a kick out of that, I enjoy that the beginning of the episode seems to suggest that slower route. Castle and his mother are in the loan office of a bank because she is behind on payments for her acting school. Castle is there offering her money or a cosign, but she refuses both, so he walks out into the branch and dials Beckett, asking if there isn’t a murder they should be working on.

While they banter, Castle notices two people dressed in scrubs, possibly armed. “I think this bank is about to be robbed,” he says in a calm and curious voice. Once Beckett realizes that his imagination isn’t in overdrive, she dispatches the police over just as a third man enters and bars the doors shut. A fourth robber appears behind Castle and takes his phone, calmly informing Beckett that he will not be negotiated with.

Beckett arrives on the scene, but Captain Peterson refuses her help on the case until the lead robber, calling himself “Trapper John” (M.A.S.H. reference) says he will only talk to her. Eerily, he seems to know the exact tactics Peterson asked her to employ. My first thought was that they had a connection, but then I realized that Trapper John is just professional.

The hostages are all arranged to sit on the floor. Castle immediately begins to reassure them that they will be safe as long as they do what the robbers ask them to do and trust the police to get them out. One man in the group blames Castle for the position they are in, having overheard him talking on the phone before he was discovered. The manager of the bank says that it was the bank robbers’ fault. Apparently they triggered a silent alarm, which gets Castle thinking. They seem far too professional to have missed that.

A few other things don’t add up. None of the robbers are wearing gloves to protect their fingerprints, and even though there is a vault with cash sitting out in the open, they have elected to raid the safety deposit boxes instead. Castle – taking a tip from “Die Hard” in his classic disregard for real consequences – asks for a bathroom break so that he can get a better look at what’s going on in order to confirm his suspicions. Between the bank manager and himself me manages to morse code the box number to Beckett. The man who earlier pointed his finger at Castle asks for a bathroom break as well, and when he comes back he whispers that he saw explosives in a duffel bag. He begins to panic and talks about his son.

The box belongs to an elderly couple who according to the bank records, accessed their box every month. Ryan and Esposito go to their address to get information, only to discover that the husband has been dead for four years and the wife has been murdered in her apartment. Around her neck is a broken chain they suspect held the key to her box. Not only that, but her living room was bugged.

Back on the scene, Alexis has arrived. Beckett promises her that everything will be alright, but Alexis has to call Ashley for moral support. Unfortunately, he doesn’t answer.

Inside the bank, Castle is thinking of a way to get the message to Beckett about the C4 explosives. Trapper John has made the demand of a bus with tinted windows to transport himself, his “doctors” and the hostages to the airport and onto a flight to the country of his choosing, at which point he will release them.

Affected by the tension of the situation, the guy who was blaming Castle – named Sal Martino – has a grand mal. Beckett goes in disguised as a paramedic in order to get him out and scope the inside because most of the surveillance has been cut off.

Beckett then talks to Trapper John again to make sure that the hostages are safe, gradually steeping back into homicide detective tactics when he threatens to kill Castle if he doesn’t get his demands on time. She manages to buy them more time, but just as she’s become suspicious that he didn’t ask for anything else in return for that time, Esposito tells her that the elderly couple’s only living relative is an son-in-law.

The picture matches Sal Martino.

Sure enough, a call to the hospital confirms that he checked himself out. And then, the bank explodes. Thankfully, none of the hostages are harmed, having been locked up in the vault. The robbers, however, set off the C4 too early and killed themselves, which leads to further suspicion. At the precinct, the team puts the story together: Martino’s wife pressed charges for domestic abuse, but he had connections and got out of it, which lead to her faking hers and their son’s death. The only people who knew where she could be where he parents, they kept all of her letters in the safe deposit box. The whole thing was orchestrated by him in order to get back his son.

Fortunately, the team catches on and manages to find him before he can take back his child.

At the end of the episode, Beckett and Castle go to his house to have dinner with Martha and Alexis, which gives me hope that they are finally beginning to transition. That and how seriously they referred to each other as partners throughout the whole episode. As I suspected, Alexis breaks up with Ashley because it’s getting too difficult to maintain a long distance relationship.

Did you like the plot device change-up? Did you see Sal Martino for what he really was? Do you think everyone but Castle realizes that Beckett is in love with him?

Next Week: Heartbreak Hotel

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